By Robin Slick, Published Tuesday
Photographing Nantucket: What is it about a Sunset?
So what's the plan for the evening? If you're on Nantucket, more often than not, and especially in the warmer months, the plan will include finding a spot to watch the sunset. This highlight of the day, often shared with family and friends, is a great time to capture memories with the backdrop of a sunset.
In the cooler months, I find that combining a brisk walk at sunset with taking a few photos helps me to unwind from a busy day and to transition into the evening. This time of year the sun sets really early, so be sure to keep track of the time. It's easy to be busy and to miss it by accident. But the good news is, if you find yourself racing to see the sunset, living on this small island allows you to get to a variety of spots within minutes.
So where to go? The obvious choices, and for good reasons, are the many beaches. Visitors tend to flock to the western most part of the island, to Madaket Beach and Smith Point, thinking these are the best spots. Yes, these are beautiful spots, however, there so are many more places, across the whole island, where you will find spectacular and unique Nantucket sunsets. For example, my friend and fellow sunrise/sunset photographer, Tim Walker, especially enjoys the Miacomet Beach area for sunset shots.
Above and Below: Miacomet Beach, Photos by Tim Walker
In the summer, watching a sunset is more than a quick hold-onto-your-hat photo experience, rather it's an event which is often planned ahead of time. Since the sun obviously sets much later this time of year, a trip to the beach to watch the sunset can often include other activities. At night it's still warm enough to swim, especially for kids, who never seem to have enough time playing in the ocean.
My kids at Madaket Beach
Sunset is a time my husband enjoys fishing from shore and it's also a perfect time for me to throw down my yoga mat to do a bit of meditation. A sense of peace is found at the edge of the water, looking out to the horizon, and becoming mesmerized by the sun disappearing into the ocean.
Fishing at Madequesham Beach
In contrast to a sunrise, a sunset lends itself to being shared with others. In the early morning, not many people are even awake, and those who are, would probably not be in the mood to be socializing or breaking bread on the beach with others.
So that leaves the sunset as a perfect time to gather your friends and family for a dinner picnic on the beach. Grab a blanket, drinks and food to dine al fresco. Did anyone say clambake? Another idea if you don't have time to prepare a cool set-up for drinks and food, is to head over to the Galley Beach and treat yourself to a cocktail or two while laying on a lounge by a fire pit. Super romantic, right? And capturing it with the perfect photo will allow you to remember that magical moment for years to come.
A romantic spot, drinks at the Galley Beach.
Cisco Beach before drinks at the Brewery.
Smith Point area before sunset.
Well-known Madaket Beach sunset
Quick pull over on the Madaket Road to capture the inlet.
Another favorite location to shoot sunset photos are the lighthouses that dot the island. No matter where you decide to go, my advice is to arrive a bit before the sun sets and plan to stay for a while afterwards to see the developing colors and textures. The reflections and shadows that are created at this time of day, on this little island, will blow your mind. Promise.
Brant Point Lighthouse